Tips for your pitch
As you know, the make-or-break for this interview will be your stock pitch – so make sure it’s polished up and ready to go! You need to not only know your stuff, but know how to convince others that your pick is the right one. Be prepared for any and all questions about the company you’re profiling, as well as for the possibility that you will have to pitch a second or even a third stock as well. This is another scenario where the more practice you put in, the better off you’ll be. Your initial stock pitch should be 60-90 seconds. Map out your first 60-90 seconds of speaking, keeping things high level and focusing on where you might be different than what others are thinking on the same stock. Then, schedule a pause for questions, and plan out the top 5-10 questions that will likely be asked (as noted below, InterviewStream can come in handy here; contact us for access).
Tailor the stock pitch to your audience
Actually try to make the pitch useful for your interviewer… if you are talking to a technology analyst, then pitch a tech stock. Keep it as differentiated as possible (e.g., if you are pitching Apple or Google, focus on something about those companies you know that others don’t – and yes, it’s hard to do) so you give yourself the best chance to make an impression on the interviewer. If you play it safe with your stock pick, you will get lumped in with everyone else. It’s your chance to hit a big home run in an interview that doesn’t come up in other industries. For instance, if pitching Apple, visit your local store and try to discover a nugget of information on story traffic or surprises in SKU mix that could interest an analyst.
Practice your pitch on video
If you have the chance before your final interviews, make sure to record yourself on video. You can use InterviewStream (contact us if you need access), or just about any other video recording tools.
What if you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to?
Quickly acknowledge you don’t know, but then start to talk through how you would find out. Emphasize proprietary methods. For example, if you’re asked whether iPhone share in the U.S. is going up or down, you might not have the data at your fingertips. If that’s true, then discuss how you would find out the answer…”I would start calling stores, and talk to salespeople and store managers, striking up a conversation to get that information. After about 100 stores across a variety of carriers, I would have a pretty good idea, before a lot of research publications would write about it.”
Be proactive in who you reach out to
Most alternative asset firms don’t recruit on campus. Get contact information of portfolio managers, and proactively write to each, tailoring your introduction to the size of fund, industry focus, or other characteristics where your background matches their interest. Get a free trial of Refinitiv, which has phone and email contact information for thousands of portfolio managers around the world, searchable by geography, industry, etc. Even if you have to pay for it, it is well worth it!
Leverage your network
Hedge funds and other alternative asset management firms are small, and thus don’t devote resources to proactively reaching out to customers. Make your interest known, and take as many people as you know out for coffee to find the right opportunity for you!
Hedge Funds and Asset Management resources
Mergers and Inquisitions also has a great set of resources you can use if you’re interested in these fields.